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Five Ways To Parent Through ADHD, With ADHD

Reah is a wife to Quintin and a mother to 5 humans and 3 pets. She is the daughter of Kim (or Ma to her) and a big sister to Raven.

 
Executive Contributor Reah R. Hagues

This article touches on ADHD in children, that carry into adulthood as reflected in parenting and five ways to parent through ADHD as a parent with ADHD.


ADHD brain

The ADHD diagnosis rate is much higher now that it was when I was a kid, in the 80’s. While some still may not receive a diagnosis until adulthood, even those diagnosed as children may have difficulty in guiding their own children through ADHD. This point of view is both a personal and professional view based on personal experience as a woman with ADHD raising children with and without ADHD and education in psychology and mental health.


One: Educate yourself about ADHD

Educate yourself on your ADHD. Educate yourself on their ADHD. Men and women are different, while boys and girls are different. We have different likes, wants, needs, and dislikes.


For example, I am easily distracted so I am not going to attempt to do or help with homework while the television is on, music is playing, or there is a lot going on around me or my child. At times, one of my children with ADHD needs to be alone to focus, so he does a portion of his work in a silent room and asks for help when he needs it. This is necessary for his focus; however, I prefer to do my work/homework at a small food place where there is expected background noise but not a lot going on to take my attention. Sitting at home in silence, for me, is more distracting. I also sleep with low light and low noise while my son sleeps in the silent dark. We have very different preferences, both with ADHD. Educate yourself on helpful strategies for adults and kids so that you are addressing tasks in a productive manner. Educate yourself on helpful strategies for leaders. As parents, we are leaders! Even leaders need help and education on leadership to make themselves great leaders.


Two: Find your strengths

What strengths can you use to calm your parenting anxieties, focus on healthy and successful goal completion, and navigate child-rearing? We may think that our ADHD is all about negative actions and reactions, but much like many other learning challenges; ADHD can present some pretty great qualities useful for parenting. With the help of therapy, positivity, and encouragement, children and adults alike can have certain strengths that are helpful in overcoming the difficult parts. These include creativity, problem-solving/investigative skills, hyperfocus, resilience, self-reliance, and risk tolerance, and often form clear expectations understood through clear and effective communication (Burch, 2023). For me, utilizing my calendar and dry-erase boards are lifesavers! My son uses a chalkboard in his room to remember his morning and afternoon routines.


Three: Find your weaknesses

Acknowledging your own weaknesses can help you to eliminate what processes, patterns, or approaches to eliminate. For example, I am easily distracted, and I cannot pay attention to long stories. I can feel myself becoming bored and uninterested more than a few minutes in. My eldest and I need short, practical, and precise details on performing an activity otherwise, too much information makes us forget details. My youngest and I need reminders for things.


Knowing these weaknesses gives us the strength and knowledge to set reminders, write things down, ask for specific details, etc. Weaknesses do not have to be a bad thing, and acknowledging them can be a power!


Four: Practice patience

Practice patience with yourself. Parenting with zero diagnosis is difficult, adding in a learning challenge makes it no easier. Practice patience with your child(ren). As we intentionally and unintentionally model behaviors, they are intentionally and unintentionally mimicking them. In boys, ADHD can present itself in behaviors we may think are intentional, or even manipulative. The real struggle is inside their brains, making impulse control and emotional regulation difficult while difficulty paying attention is more prevalent in girls. Men are more likely to struggle with substance abuse, and women have more difficulty with eating habits (Surg., 2023). Practice patience with education (yours and theirs). As difficult as learning with ADHD is for us while teaching and raising them; it is equally as difficult for them to learn and comprehend as we work through our own emotions and challenges. This has at times been difficult for me to understand and navigate as I did not become aware enough to healthily navigate my own behaviors or emotions until I was in my thirties; and it is still a constant work in progress. Practice patience with society as you will read more social media posts by people with no education on the matter than articles by people who do. Your best educational outlet is your doctor, your child’s pediatrician, a therapist specializing in ADHD, or online via scholarly/verified articles and zero social media posted opinions.


Start here

Here are a few places you can begin to educate yourself in a safe, effective, and accurate manner on ADHD in adults and children, and how you can navigate through both parenting and beyond as a mom, dad, grandparent, or even sibling with an ADHD diagnosis!



 

Reah R. Hagues, Relationship/Holistic Coach

Reah is a wife to Quintin and a mother to 5 humans and 3 pets. She is the daughter of Kim (or Ma to her), and big sister to Raven. Reah has earned multiple degrees including a Bachelor's degree in Christian studies, Master's degree in Psychology, Master's degree in Holistic Mental Health and Wellness (with emphasis on family dynamics), and a Master's level certification in Life Coaching.

 

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